Putnam County Getting $46,000 Less for Roads, Bridges

Major cuts in the construction program have been announced by the Illinois Department of Transportation. This means $46,000 less for roads and bridges in Putnam County in fiscal year 2018, highway engineer Pat Sloan said.

At Tuesday night’s Putnam County Board meeting, Sloan announced that because of the state budget, IDOT has revised its fiscal year 2018 roads and bridges program,

He said the new state budget transferred about $300 million of expenses from the state’s general fund to the state’s overall transportation budget, which means the transportation budget has more costs and will have to make cuts to make up the difference. This created a cut in local road payments by $50 million for counties and needy townships.

Sloan said this change is putting the burden on local governments that are least able to handle it and least able to protest it.

“During the last 15 years our purchase power has decreased by over 60 percent, meaning counting both the decreased share of revenue we’ve received and its decreased buying power, we can only do 1/5 of what we did in 2000,” Sloan said.

Sloan says the county needs a significant increase in infrastructure funding, a revenue system that’s sustainable and indexed, and a fair distribution that recognizes the amount of vehicle travel.

Across the state, the County Consolidated payment was cut by 50 percent, he said.

Sloan said his understanding is that this will continue to be an ongoing problem because of the way the state cost-shift is written into the budget.
Projects waiting for funding

Putnam County: Fourteen miles of road construction worth $3 million

Three bridge replacements classified as poor — $2.5 million

Marshall County: Western Avenue Realignment, $8 million. Ten bridge replacements classified as poor worth $6 million.

Source: News Tribune